We have had excessive snow, sleet, wind, freezing rain, cold and even a heavy rainstorm with tornado warnings. All of the above have adversely affected all of our citizens here in Cape Girardeau and throughout our region. These include but are not limited to school snow days, event cancellations, diminished retail sales, excessive snow removal costs, accidents, falls and other related incidents.
I must commend our Cape Girardeau Public Works Department and staff for their successful efforts in snow removal from our city streets and parking lots. They have done an outstanding job and have performed 24/7 on many occasions during this winter. I have received many positive comments and accolades from citizens and visitors in the past weeks. This has been achieved at a cost as the combination of cold, salt, thawing and refreezing has done significant damage to our streets. I will address this subject further as I move through this column.
I feel that our past winter, as described above, has created an opportunity for our city and all its citizens as we approach the spring season. I am now declaring the month of April 2014 as “CLEAN UP CAPE MONTH.”
We have had many very successful “Friends of the Park” days during April in past years. Plans already are underway to make it a citywide event. While the Friends of the Park Day still needs to be a one-day event, I am proposing that the citywide event should run all month.
Our leaf-removal program, while it was improved over 2012, still needs some tweaks to make it more timely and efficient. We have now covered all areas multiple times, but I will be working with staff to coordinate a last-minute pickup during late March/early April for those who might not have completed their leaf raking. I also will be working with staff on any other ways that our city can support this total cleanup effort in April.
The other issue that needs to be addressed is the deterioration of several of our streets due to the elements of the hard winter. I have asked our staff to do a current evaluation of our streets along with a recommendation for 2014 street repairs. It may be necessary to allocate additional resources to this effort.
I am asking all citizens, including residential, commercial and industrial properties, to accept the challenge of our April 2014 “CLEAN UP CAPE” efforts. Thank you in advance for your participation.